Medicine in the Tide Country- Chapter 2

Notes from Tuphan- The Man Behind the Medical Camp

img_7326After two days of journey on roadways, train, and waterways we finally arrived in the Sundarbaans Forest. Our medical camp site was a primary school in the little island village of Tipligheri, surrounded by numerous river channels and forest. It is a beautiful place which unfortunately lacks basic facilities like safe drinking water, electricity, and health care. Apart from this, wild animals, such as tigers and crocodiles have always been a threat to local people which makes the life of the native people a more challenging one.

When I started to think about the camp after meeting Dr. Sujit Pal, I was not sure if I could really  be able to organize all the logistics behind it. But at last, it happened by our immense team effort. And I was personally so happy and satisfied at the end of the camp which I can’t explain in words.  Our medical team had seven participant:  Dr. Sujit Pal, Mrs. Debola Adhikari, Dr. Sabyasachi Sikdar, Dr. Niladri Palit, Dr. Priyajit Mandal, Mr.  Snehasish Baidya  (final year MBBS student) & myself. After completion of the 1st phase of the camp we got good response from doctors.

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Children from two primary schools (Tipligheri & Luxbagan villages) were present and were 73 in number altogether. General health check up of all kids was done by our team members.  Medicines were provided to those who needed. Some kids were recommended to go to the block hospital in Gosaba for further treatment. We also assured their guardian that we shall provide them with all possible help if they come taking their kids to our hospital for further consultation.

The most common problem among the kids was malnutrition as their guardians were unable to supply more nutritive food due to their poor economic status. They were provided with multivitamins in various forms (syrup, tablets, capsules, etc.) and were advised about healthy dietary practices. The second most problem was worm-infestation. So, we prescribed them 2 doses of Albendazole tablets and instructed them on how to take the drug. The third most common problem was dental cavities among the kids. We prescribed drugs and advised them to maintain oral hygiene properly by daily use of toothpaste and toothbrush at morning and evening and rinse the mouth with plenty of water after having each meal.

Apart from this, we taught the kids about various daily healthy activities like washing hands with soap and water before and after eating and after defecation, keeping hair clean and dry, drinking adequate amount of water daily, etc. For maintenance of personal hygiene, we also provided each of them with a hygiene kit containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, a comb and a biscuit packet.

At the end of the camp we took a grand lunch with the teachers of the school and the food items served were very delicious and satisfactory. When we came back from the camp-site, we realized that we gained the most valuable thing i.e., self satisfaction.

It was a good initiative by Amrita Seattle to organise such a nice health camp and that too in such a remote place. With this by joining their hands, we got the chance to serve the people. Next year in January, we have planned to organise the 2nd phase of the camp. In the 2nd phase, follow – up of the previously treated cases will be done. We have also thought of adding the gynaecological issues along with other problems of the kids. We shall do our best for further success of this wonderful initiative undertaken by Amrita Seattle.

As a member of the medical team I want to say that it was really a noble experience !!!

 

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